We’ve rounded up the latest updates from the international travel industry. This week: Indonesia promotes ten ‘new Balis’; Asilia will open its new Selous camp in August; an Ecuadorian becomes Latin America’s first internationally certified female mountain guide; Richard Branson aims to have people in space by the end of 2018; and a UK travel company takes a stance against zoos.

Indonesia promotes ten ‘new Balis’

The Indonesian government is pushing travel companies to suggest alternatives to Bali, its most popular island. The ten ‘new Balis’ are: Thousand Islands regency in Jakarta; Borobudur in central Java; Bromo, Tengger and Semeru in east Java; Lake Tola in north Sumatra; Tanjung Kelayang in Bangka Belitung; Tanjung Lesung in Banten; Mandalika in west Nusa Tenggara; Labuan Bajo in east Nusa Tenggara; Wakatobe in southeast Sulawesi; and Norotai in north Maluku. Bali is an incredibly popular island for internationals, but only a tiny fraction of what Indonesia has to offer travellers, particularly those hoping to avoid the crowds. Source: lonelyplanet.com.

Borobudur temple, Java, Indonesia.
Borobudur temple in central Java is one of the most beautiful sunrise locations in the world.

Asilia will open a new camp in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve

Safari company Asilia will open their new camp, Roho ya Selous, in August. The camp will be based in the Selous Game Reserve on a hilltop overlooking a key waterway linking Lake Manze and Lake Nzerakera. There will be eight spacious tents with a cooling system over the beds. The Selous is home to one of the largest populations of wild dog in Africa and is three times the size of the Kruger with a low density of camps. Activities include game drives, walking safaris, catch-and-release fishing and boat safaris. – Source: atta.travel.

Renderings of Royo ya Selous.
Renderings of the new Royo ya Selous camp.

Ecuadorian becomes first internationally certified female mountain guide in Latin America

Juliana Garcia became Latin America’s first internationally certified female mountain guide on Friday 31st March. The International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA) gave the 32-year-old her pin after a final exam that took place on the slopes of the Antisana volcano in Ecuador, where she had to demonstrate her skills with various mountaineering equipment. In 2015, she became president of the Ecuadorian Mountain Guide Association – she is one of only two women in the world to lead a mountain guide association. – Source: bbc.com.

Antisana volcano, Ecuador.
Antisana volcano, where Garcia completed her mountaineering exam.

Branson aims to have travellers in space by the end of 2018

Sir Richard Branson has said that he’d be “very disappointed” if his space programme, known as Virgin Galactic, wasn’t underway by the end of 2018. In an interview with The Telegraph, Branson said he hoped there would be a test flight by the end of this year, and that he would be in space himself in 2018. The space travel business was delayed after a test flight ended in a fatal crash in California’s Mojave Desert in October 2014. The group, headed by former NASA chief of staff George Whitesides, has since redoubled its focus on safety. 500 people, including several celebrities, have reserved their places on a future Virgin Galactic flight for $250,000 each. – Source: telegraph.co.uk.

UK travel company drops all zoos from website

Responsible Travel, a UK-based travel company offering a selection of responsible tours from various operators, has announced that they will no longer offer tours involving trips to zoos. The company claims that ‘zoos are no longer appropriate in 2017’ and that old arguments for zoos funding conservation and education efforts do not stand up. Opponents to their stance argue that responsible zoos carry out extensive research, develop veterinary techniques that can be applied in the wild, engage people in wildlife and fund ‘game-changing’ international conservation projects, such as ZSL London Zoo’s support of Sasan Gir in India, the last stronghold of the Asiatic lion. Responsible Travel will still be offering tours to ethical sanctuaries and rescue centres for animals that cannot be released into the wild and which do not conduct captive breeding. Source: telegraph.co.uk.

Pandas in a zoo.
Pandas in a zoo.